Cardinal Otunga was born in January 1923 in Chebukwa, diocese of Kakamega, Kenya, and graduated from Mangu High school. He entered the seminary of Kakamega, then studied Theology in Rome, where he was ordained on October 3, 1950 while attending the college of Propaganda Fide. Returning to Kenya, Otunga taught Theology at the Major Seminary for three years, and was nominated Chancellor of the Curia. He also worked with the Apostolic Delegation in Kenya. Named Bishop of the titular Church of Tacape on November 17, 1956, he moved to Kisii on May 21, 1960, was promoted Coadjutor in Nairobi on October 24, 1971. Otunga served as President of the national Episcopate and as a member of the Permanent Commission of SECAM (Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar). Elevated to the cardinalate by Paul VI during the Consistory of March 5, 1973, he presently serves as the Kenya's Military Ordinary.